Hate crimes rose up to 600 per cent, after London bombings

Attacks on Muslims have soared in London since the July 7 bombings.

Scotland Yard said the figures show a rise of almost 600 per cent compared with the same period last year.

Most were verbal abuse or minor assaults but they also include damage to property including mosques.

Figures showed there were 269 such incidents reported since the suicide bombings, compared to only 40 in the same three-and-a-half week period last year.

In the immediate three-day aftermath of the attacks there were 68 faith hate crimes in the capital. There were none in the same period 12 months ago.

Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said: "There is no doubt that incidents impacting on the Muslim community have increased."

"It can lead to these communities completely retreating and not engaging at a time when we want their engagement and support," he said, reports Channel 4 News.

According to CNN, The figures emerged as Home Office minister Hazel Blears held the first in a series of meetings on tuesday with representatives of Britain's Muslim community.

Those meetings come amid concerns that young Muslims are being targeted by police in stop-and-search operations.

But Blears pledged that Muslims would not be discriminated against.

"The counter-terrorism powers are not targeting any community in particular but are targeting terrorists," she said.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said there was an "obligation" on British Muslims to confront the terrorist threat within their own community.

He urged them to not simply condemn terror but to also confront it. Davis said the concept of multiculturalism was "outdated" and called on UK Muslims to do more to integrate within British society.

Deputy Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) Richard Barnes told BBC News that the force was over-stretched.

He said the bomb attacks, added to the Live 8 concert and G8 summit, had put the police under "six weeks of constant pressure".

Mr Barnes said: "The Met has risen, as it always does, remarkably well to the challenge, but it can't sustain people working 12 hours a day and six days a week."

"Crime PLC carries on," he said, adding that while terrorism had to be investigated so did all the other crime that is committed.

Mr Barnes also said a radical rethink of the role of police officers was needed and how civilian staff and support officers could help.

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